Bessie Smith Similar Artists

Ethel Waters - 75% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Jazz Vocals Television Musicals & The Arts Blues Pop / Rock Soundtracks
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Ethel Howard, 31 October 1896, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 1 September 1977, Chatsworth, California, USA. One of the most influential of popular singers, Waters’ early career found her working in vaudeville. As a consequence, her repertoire was more widely based and popularly angled than those of many of her contemporaries. It is reputed that she was the first singer Read more

Ma Rainey - 64% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Jazz Blues
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Gertrude M. Pridgett, 26 April 1886, Columbus, Georgia, USA, d. 22 December 1939. After working as a saloon and tent show singer around the turn of the century, Rainey began singing blues. She later claimed that this occurred as early as 1902 and however much reliance is placed upon this date she was certainly among the earliest singers to bring blues songs to a wider audien Read more

Victoria Spivey - 57% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Blues
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15 October 1906, Houston, Texas, USA, d. 3 October 1976, New York City, New York, USA. Spivey was recording at the age of 19, and enjoyed early hits with ‘Black Snake Blues’, ‘Dope Head Blues’ and ‘T.B. Blues’, all sung in her unmistakable nasal, acidic tones. She worked as a songwriter for a St. Louis based publishing company in the late 20s, a Read more

Big Mama Thornton - 51% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Blues Pop / Rock R&B / Soul
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11 December 1926, Montgomery, Alabama, USA, d. 25 July 1984, Los Angeles, California, USA. Willie Mae Thornton was the daughter of a minister and learned drums and harmonica as a child. By the early 40s she was singing and dancing in Sammy Green’s Hot Harlem Revue throughout the southern states. Basing herself in Texas, she made her first records as Big Mama Thornton fo Read more

Billie Holiday - 48% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Vocals Jazz Pop / Rock Blues Music Videos & Concerts Easy Listening Blues R&B / Soul Soundtracks Jazz Big Band & Swing
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Eleanor(a) Harris, 7 April 1915, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 17 July 1959, New York City, New York, USA. ‘Lady Day’ taught herself to sing during her early teens in Baltimore, Maryland, where she was brought up until moving to New York in 1929. Factual inaccuracies and elements of myth and exaggeration have clouded the picture of her formative years despite Read more

Dinah Washington - 47% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Jazz Vocals Pop / Rock Blues Music Videos & Concerts Jazz R&B / Soul Easy Listening Musicals & The Arts Blues Dance Disco
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Ruth Lee Jones, 29 August 1924, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA, d. 14 December 1963, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Raised in Chicago, Dinah Washington first sang in church choirs for which she also played piano. She then worked in local clubs, where she was heard by Lionel Hampton, who promptly hired her. She was with Hampton from 1943-46, recording hits with ‘Evil Gal Blues’, Read more

Memphis Minnie - 47% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Blues Pop / Rock R&B / Soul
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Lizzie Douglas, 3 June 1897, Algiers, Louisiana, USA, d. 6 August 1973, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Raised in Walls, Mississippi, Memphis Minnie learned banjo and guitar as a child, and ran away from home at the age of 13 to play music in Memphis; she worked for a time with Ringling Brothers Circus. When in Mississippi, she played guitar with Willie Brown, and in the 20s made a Read more

Jelly Roll Morton - 45% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Jazz Blues Cajun & Zydeco
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Ferdinand Joseph Lemott, 20 October 1890, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 10 July 1941, Los Angeles, California, USA. A gifted musician, Morton played various instruments before deciding to concentrate on piano. In the early years of the twentieth century he was a popular figure on the seamier side of New Orleans night life. He played in brothels, hustled pool and generally Read more

Otis Rush - 42% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Blues Pop / Rock Jazz Music Videos & Concerts
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29 April 1934, Philadelphia, Mississippi, USA. A left-handed blues guitarist, Rush moved to Chicago where his impassioned singing and playing on ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’ brought a Top 10 R&B hit in 1956. He became one of the ‘young turks’ of the Chicago scene together with Buddy Guy, Freddie King and Magic Sam. ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby Read more

T-Bone Walker - 42% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Blues Music Theme
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Aaron Thibeaux Walker, 28 May 1910, Linden, Texas, USA, d. 16 March 1975, Los Angeles, California, USA. Walker, whose T-Bone acronym is a corruption of his middle name, was raised in Dallas where his parents operated an ‘open house’ to all the touring blues musicians. During his childhood, Walker was brought into contact with artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Read more

Blind Lemon Jefferson - 38% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Blues Blues Music Videos & Concerts Pop / Rock
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July 1897, Wortham (Couchman), Texas, USA, d. December 1929, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Jefferson was one of the earliest and most influential rural blues singers to record. He was one of seven children born to Alex Jefferson and Classie Banks (or Bates) and was either blind or partially blind from early childhood. As his handicap precluded his employment as a farm-hand he turn Read more

Robert Johnson - 37% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Blues Pop / Rock Special Interest Blues Documentaries Music Videos & Concerts
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Tampa Red - 37% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Blues Pop / Rock
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Hudson Woodbridge aka Whittaker, 8 January 1904, Smithville, Georgia, USA, d. 19 March 1981, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Tampa Red was raised in Tampa, Florida, by his grandmother Whittaker’s family, hence his nickname. By the time of his 1928 recording debut for Vocalion Records, he had developed the clear, precise bottleneck blues guitar style that earned him his billing, Read more

Howlin' Wolf - 36% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Blues Pop / Rock R&B / Soul Music Videos & Concerts Soundtracks Folk Jazz Blues
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Memphis Slim - 35% match to Bessie Smith

Genres: Blues Jazz Music Videos & Concerts R&B / Soul Blues Folk
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John ‘Peter’ Chatman, 3 September 1915, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, d. 24 February 1988, Paris, France. One of the most popular performers of the blues idiom, Memphis Slim combined the barrelhouse/boogie-woogie piano style of the pre-war era with a sophisticated vocal intonation. A prolific songwriter, his best-known composition, ‘Every Day I Have The Blues’ Read more

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